The Green Loop

Student Project

Combining public participation and the economics of the public realm, a new type of community at the human scale is being built through more flexible and innovative layout principles and functional distribution




DESIGN VISION / OBJECTIVES - The project aims to create a new type of community that is not only economically but also environmentally sustainable through the economic means of community land trusts and flexible and innovative urban design.

DESIGN PRINCIPLES - The project's starting point is to explore the relationship between the economics of the public realm and the type and mixes of landuse. The analysis suggests a green loop between the two, in that a more mixed and diverse site allows for a more diverse range of people in the area and a greater tendency for people to walk and cycle to their destinations. This in turn promotes access to nearby public spaces. The increased vibrancy of the public spaces around the community will increase the economic value of the community and people's sense of belonging. The project is designed through a model site, including selecting an economic approach in line with the design vision, flexible and innovative layout principles and functional distribution to create a human community based on community participation.

DESIGN PROCESS - Firstly, an analysis is made of the types of sites within Butetown and the relationship between the different site types and the public realm. Three design strategies are proposed to address the issues identified. Two of the strategies are at the design level and the other is at the economic and social level, for example, the economic and social strategy focuses on features such as resident self-governance and community participation, and the proposal suggests that this strategy should be the focus and starting point for this design. Finally, the three design strategies are combined with an actual site to form a conceptual design for the model site city.



The most important point, and one that was not a high priority when doing the design before. That is the consideration of community involvement and the human scale. We are reminded that urban design is a very complex matter that requires research and consideration of site, environment and society. This includes the requirement to think purposefully and select socio-economic strategies that are appropriate to the scope of the design, the characteristics of the site and the design strategy, and it also allows us to understand more about the key features and working methods of community engagement in the UK. This has also allowed us to understand more about the key features and methods of community engagement work in the UK, and these best practices will be of great help to us in our future practical work and provide further ideas.

In fact, looking back at the design, some issues were not considered at the time, including the fact that due to the epidemic, there were no interviews with people in the area to understand their needs, even though for an academic assignment, a better understanding of people's needs would have made the project more implementable.

Project Team

He Wang  Cardiff University

Judges' Comments

"The development of virtuous cycles of diversity, engagement and prosperity using the community land trust model gives physical expression to the truer sense of sustainability that most urban designers and planners would wish to see happen, and the emphasis on retrofitting suggests the strategy can be applied to already established areas."